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PRemier

A monthly publication of Illinois State University’s chapter of PRSSA

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April 2011

Volume Six

National Assembly: A Rewarding Experience By Brian DePasqua On March 31, I flew to Seattle, Wash., to represent our chapter of PRSSA at National Assembly. The purpose of this assembly was to elect the new National Committee for next year and also participate

Looking South toward Columbia Center in Seattle

in a number of public relations oriented activities. My first day in Seattle featured the “Day-of-Competition.” I was placed in a group with other assembly attendees. We were required to come up with a campaign event for the Seattle area regarding Michelle Obama’s fitness initiative. Although my group did not win, I thought we put forth a fantastic effort. The competition gave me the opportunity to meet other PRSSA members from around the country, including future National Committee Member Joe Clarkson. My second day, welcomed by Seattle’s typical rain showers, consisted of leadership sessions that covered a variety of topics such as chapter branding and ethics. These sessions allowed me to communicate with delegates who came from chapters with different backgrounds. I found it particularly fascinating how some chapters, in spite of small membership, are just as passionate about PRSSA as larger chapters. On the third day we voted for next year’s National Committee. Candidates were allowed to give a speech before fac-

Alternative Post-graduation Options By Brooke McMahon “College graduate” is what I will officially be called after the graduation ceremony at 7 p.m. on May 6 at the Redbird Arena. Along with my new title will also come the question that is known to make many college seniors’ skin crawl, “So, what are your plans for after graduation?” Asking any recent college graduate that receives that question prompts one of two answers: “I have a job lined up with (fill in the blank) company,” or “I plan to further my education by attending (fill in the blank) graduate school.” Until winter break, I planned to jump straight from ISU

to Parkland Community College to go back to school for a degree in graphic design. I had my next four years already mapped out in my head. After Parkland, I would then go

“As reality set in, so did the anxiety.” on to get my master’s degree in advertising and then become an extremely successful creative director at a high-profile advertising agency. Post-grad, Page 3

ing intense scrutiny through questioning. I found most of the candidates to be smart, qualified members who were worthy of the positions they were running for. Throughout the voting process I made a point to remember that I was voting on behalf of ISU PRSSA, not just for myself. I am pleased to say that every candidate that was elected received my vote. I truly believe that the new group will do an excellent job. Visiting Seattle for National Assembly was a fantastic experience, and I believe that the current National Committee did an excellent job running things. I was able to meet and network with dozens of terrific young professionals, and I look forward to remaining in contact with them. Joe Clarkson, the newly elected Vice President of Internships/Job Services, asked me to be on his subcommittee. I accepted, and will help create awareness about PRSSA’s internship center as well as other resources. I am thankful for having this opportunity to represent ISU PRSSA. I will keep an eye on the new National Committee that I helped elect, as I feel that they will be superb.

A look inside: A Look Ahead

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A Freshman’s Outlook

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Member of the Year

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Letter from the E-Board

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Upcoming Events 4


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Volume Six

A Look Ahead By Kaitie Ries

My first encounter with PRSSA was during festival ISU. I was new to the campus and excited for the various ways to get involved. My friend, a fellow communication major, stopped at the PRSSA table and later asked me to go to a meeting with her. Although I was not a public relations major, I figured it would not hurt to go to the meeting. Eight months and one change of major later, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be next year’s vice president. While the interview process for the new Executive Board was intense, it was a great way to increase the professionalism of the chapter. The tough questions prepared interviewees for their future internship and career opportunities. Thanks to my mother’s quick thinking, I wrote down many of the questions so I could use them to prepare for future interviews. The interview process was an excellent opportunity to practice the professional skills that I have developed all year in PRSSA. As an ISU PRSSA member, I have truly enjoyed learning from the tours, workshops, panels and other opportunities. Attending meetings has always provided me with useful and valuable information as well. My favorite workshop was the “Business Dress

Workshop.” I finally learned exactly what terms like “business formal” and “business casual” meant. Now I am confident that I will know how to dress appropriately for different occasions. Looking back, I cringe at what I wore to my first internship interview. Without that workshop I am certain I would

and corporate organizations in addition to public relations agencies. I will be forever grateful to the friend that begged me to at-

“I will be forever grateful to the friend that begged me to attend a PRSSA meeting with her.” have embarrassed myself more than just that one time. The agency tours are many members’ favorite activities. The opportunity to tour organizations has allowed me to see what I was working toward in the classroom. Meeting professionals who love their careers has motivated me to continue working toward my goals. As next year’s vice president, I look forward to planning these types of events for our chapter. The great thing about public relations is that it is always changing, and we will always have more to learn. I hope to explore the various opportunities a public relations degree offers by touring nonprofit

tend a PRSSA meeting with her. I truly look forward to working with the other Executive Board members and leading the chapter next year.

Deirdre O’Brien, Samantha Arnold and Ian De La Rosa

Relay for Life Chris Orris helped set up the tent, with encouragement from Jennifer Detweiler and Kaitlin Nickrent

2011

Kaitlin Nickrent got the grill going (eventually)


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A Freshman’s Outlook By Hailey Lanier

For most students, freshman year is a time of changes. They are in a new town, at a new school, making new friends and forming new study habits. While freshmen struggle to keep up with school, meet new people and do their own laundry, many do not even stop to think about joining a registered student organization (RSO), such as PRSSA. Joining a RSO is important regardless of what year you are in school. It does not matter if you are only a freshman, nor does it matter if you have chosen your major yet. There are many RSOs on campuses nationwide that do not require designated majors and are there for philanthropic, academic or social reasons. As a freshman myself, I can attest to the importance of joining a group regardless of age or interests. As soon as I found out about PRSSA, I went to a meeting and joined. I had just transferred to ISU and I hoped to meet new people who shared my interest in public relations. What I gained, however, is much more than new friends.

Through PRSSA, I have gained valuable knowledge of the public relations field and have even started participating in various public relations activities. Our chapter offers opportunities to participate in numerous networking dinners, agency visits and volunteer events. By joining PRSSA, I have gained more insight about the type of job I would like to pursue, and I have even started working toward that goal. Many people think that, as a freshman in college, your only responsibility is to do well in your classes and that you can worry about getting a job later. PRSSA’s philosophy, which I agree with, is that students should start preparing for their future as soon as possible. I created a resume, wrote a cover letter and landed my first internship this semester. Had I not joined PRSSA, I would not have thought about accomplishing any of those goals. I have gained a great deal of professional experience through my membership in PRSSA and have gained some very good friends. I encourage anyone

and everyone to join a group they are interested in because it is never too early to start preparing for your future!

Post-grad: As reality set in, so did the anxiety. I realized that I am going to need a break. Don’t get me wrong, I still plan on accomplishing all of those things. I also realized that I want to experience something different from the mapped out education-driven lifestyle that I

have been living for the past 16 years. Shortly after my anxiety set in, I thought back to an alternative plan that my high school teacher talked about: the Peace

“After reviewing all the benefits, I knew that joining the Peace Corps was what I wanted to do upon graduating from ISU.” Corps. As soon as I remembered this alternative I immediately began researching the organization. After reviewing all the benefits, I knew that joining the Peace Corps was what I wanted to do upon graduating from ISU. The Peace Corps is an alternative option for recently graduated college students. This organization offers individuals the chance to immerse themselves in a culture entirely different from their own. The Peace Corps is a government organization through which individuals can serve their country by living and working in developing countries on issues ranging from AIDS education to information technology to environmental preservation. Knowing you

have made not only an individual’s life better, but a whole community’s was enough of a reason for me to join. Among the many benefits, the Peace Corps offers total deferment on student loans, total expenses paid for while serving (including airfare both ways), health insurance upon return, 48 paid vacation days, help paying for graduate school and a cash bonus rounding nearly $7,500 upon return. I know that the Peace Corps is not for everyone. It took me a while to decide this really was the right choice for me. By writing this article I hope to encourage seniors who are still sweating at that awful question, “So what are your plans after graduation?” to research what other alternatives are out there. You have been going to school your whole life and have the rest of your life to work. Take some time for yourself and see what it is that really makes you happy, whether it is the Peace Corps, military, AmeriCorps, or backpacking through Europe. There are hundreds of alternatives out there, and thanks to Google you can search them all and find your perfect fit!


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Member of the Year: Brian DePasqua Each year the Executive Board awards the Member of the Year honor to an extremely dedicated individual in the Chapter. We are happy to announce Brian DePasqua as the 2010-2011 Member of the Year. DePasqua has earned the most MIPS by participating in a majority of the tours and philanthropies. He also served as the PRi account executive for the Safe Kids Coalition and the Normal Multimodal Transportation Center. DePasqua’s clear passion for public relations will carry over in his position as national liaison on the 2011-2012 Executive Board. As the Member of the Year, the Chapter will reward DePasqua’s hard work and dedication by paying for his 2011-2012 dues.

Volume Six

Letter from the Executive Board by Chris Orris, secretary Wow, that was fast. Seriously! Wasn’t it just a second ago that we had our first chapter meeting? I could have sworn that was the case, but our final meeting has come and gone. Even though time passed quickly, it certainly was not wasted. I looked over a list Genevieve and Jennifer put together of what our chapter has accomplished this year, and I can hardly believe we did it all in just one school year. ISU PRSSA, I am very proud of you! So let’s take a look at a few of these accomplishments. • 17 of our members went to National Conference this year. Way to represent! • Our members volunteered at 13 philanthropic events! Who says PR people are soulless? • Relations completely redesigned our newsletter! It’s the prettiest thing ever to grace my inbox. • Development raised how much? $1,455! Whoa! • PRi promoted ISU Hockey and broke attendance records, allowing the team to turn a greater profit than ever before. Think of the difference that made to the self-funded players! We all belong to a wonderful chapter filled with very capable members. But it’s not just how capable you all are. Don’t just think about what these results say about your potential as a PR practitioner. Take a minute to think about how your contributions this year have improved the lives of your fellow students. Helping to develop the chapter the way you all have has given us all better opportunities. Your commitment to quality work has set a precedent that will continue to build fresh members into capable young professionals for decades to come. Man, I’m going to miss this chapter. Sayonara, Chris Orris

Upcoming Events Calendar

Final Exams Week – May 2-May 6

Commencement: College of Arts and Sciences – May 6

Fall 2011 Classes Begin – August 22

First Meeting of the Year – August 30

Profile for Illinois State University PRSSA

PRemier Newsletter: April 2011  

This issue of PRemier includes National Assembly, Alternative Post-Graduation Options, A Look Ahead, A Freshman's Outlook, Letter from the E...

PRemier Newsletter: April 2011  

This issue of PRemier includes National Assembly, Alternative Post-Graduation Options, A Look Ahead, A Freshman's Outlook, Letter from the E...

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